2019-20 WGEA Data Quality Report

 

 

image is decorative and depicts three people working on devices to analyse data

 

This report communicates the processes that were followed to assess the quality of the 2019-20 employee census data. For the 2019-20 reporting period:

  • The cut-off date for inclusion in the dataset was on 03 September 2020
  • The dataset and gender equality indicator (GEI) scorecard were released on 26 November 2020
  • 4,943 reporting organisations* were included in the dataset. This covers 11,179 businesses and 4,393,656 employees in the non-public sector.

Coverage/Relevance

The WGEA dataset covered 40.3% of the estimated overall Australian workforce. This is slightly down by 1.1 percentage points compared to the previous reporting period. Figure 1 shows that coverage declined for most industries, including retail trade and education & training. Coverage improved for manufacturing and construction and was stable for health care & social assistance.

 

Figure 1: The 2019-20 WGEA dataset - coverage of all Australian employees

This image depicts a table detailing the coverage of all Australian employees.

 

 

Note: WGEA reporting guidelines require organisations involved in labour hire functions to capture their contracted staff within their WGEA report – this can lead to inconsistency in the capture of these employees between the WGEA and ABS.

External sources: ABS (2020) 6291.0.55.003 - Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, March 2020. Result cited is for February 2020, available in data cube EQ05

Exemptions (Discretion Not to Name (DNN)) granted

The global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions had an impact on the capability of organisations to submit data to the Agency. For the 2019 – 20 reporting period, the Agency granted reporting exemptions (or discretion not to name (DNN)) to 134 reporting organisations across 17 industries. The potential loss of coverage was up to 3.9% across industries.  Table 1 shows that the exemptions had a slight impact on the workforce coverage particularly in the arts & recreation, administrative & support services, and retail trade.

Table 1: Coverage impact of exemptions on the 2019-20 dataset by industry

This table is sorted in descending order of coverage impact (%).

Industry (ANZSIC Division) Number of reporting organisations exempted Number of employees in exempted orgs Employees in the workforce - (Australian Labour Force Survey) ('000) Coverage impact (%)
Arts and recreation services 12 7,915 203.2 3.9
Administrative and support services 12 5,292 332.4 1.6
Retail Trade 25 16,024 1139.1 1.4
Accommodation and Food Services 27 8,066 827.7 0.9
Other Services 3 2,847 341.6 0.8
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 8 4,405 534.0 0.8
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 2 760 154.7 0.5
Wholesale Trade 6 1,527 325.8 0.5
Healthcare and Social Assistance 10 7,205 1629.4 0.4
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 6 3,633 871.4 0.4
Mining 5 927 234.1 0.4
Manufacturing 9 2,503 805.0 0.3
Public Administration and Safety 2 599 820.2 0.1
Construction 3 520 767.0 0.1
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 1 97 147.6 0.1
Education and Training 3 461 1024.8 0.0
All industries 135 62,849 10,903.1 0.6%

 

Timeliness

Figure 2 shows that 93.1% of reporting organisations that were not granted DNNs were able to submit verified data to the Agency by the cut-off date. This is an improvement of 1.9 percentage points to the overall timeliness rate, compared to the previous reporting period. Four industries declined in timeliness, most notably administrative & support services and information media & telecommunications. The majority of industries recorded improved their timeliness, including health care & social assistance and manufacturing. Timeliness rates were still above 80% across all the industries

 

Figure 2: 2019-20 WGEA dataset – timeliness by industry*

This image depicts the timeliness by industry of reporting organisations submitting verified data before the cutoff date. Administrative and Support Services, Information, Media and Technology, Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services and Public Administration and Safety have improved. Mining, Education, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing have remained stable. All other industries improved.

 

*Based on ANZSIC code provided by the reporting organisation

Table 2: Industry breakdown of 15 reports excluded from the 2019-20 dataset

This table is sorted in descending order of coverage impact (%).

Industry (ANZSIC Division) Number of reporting organisations excluded Number of employees in excluded orgs Employees in the workforce - (ABS Labour Force Survey) Coverage impact
    ('000) ('000) (%)
Healthcare and Social Assistance 1 1884 1629.4 0.1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 6 424 871.2 0.0
Retail Trade 1 162 1139.1 0.0
Financial and Insurance Services 4 26 430.6 0.0
Accommodation and Food Services 1 9 827.7 0.0
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 1 8 154.7 0.0
Retail trade 1 3 332.4 0.0

 

Data quality checks - Questionnaire data

The most common anomalies that were accepted by the Agency as legitimate and included in the dataset relate to the governing bodies data. Table 3 shows that the most common anomaly relate to the target date for female representation falling in the current reporting period, which only affects around 2% of organisations in the dataset.

 

Table 3: Top 3 questionnaire anomalies in the 2019-20 dataset

Anomaly Number of reporting organisations affected % of organisations in the dataset (4,943)
Target % is less than or equal to percentage of women on governing body 111 2.2
Too many boards members for orgs 37 0.8
Too many chairs for orgs 31 0.6

 

Table 4 shows that the accepted anomalies relating to board members greater than 20 and a governing board having more than two chairs accounted for less than 10% of the total board members and chairs in the dataset. The rate of these anomalies will be continually monitored to ensure that they do not exceed the baseline rates as per below.

Table 4: Board member or chair anomalies - records affected 2019-20

Anomaly Records affected Total records in dataset % of total records 
Too many board members for orgs 2,443 35,314 6.9
Too many chairs for orgs 214 6,728 3.1

 

Data quality - remuneration data

Organisations are able to provide remuneration data in unit level or aggregated format. Unit level data enables a richer analysis of remuneration data.

In the 2019 - 20 reporting year, the unit level dataset accounted for 2,272,197 records (52% of the 4,393,656 employee records).

Known limitations of the benchmark’s remuneration data provided by employers in general are summarised below:

  • Approximately 0.6% of employee salaries are below $17,300. Most of these salaries are legitimate as some employees are under 15 years of age or are on a disability scheme payment in this dataset. There are legitimate cases where an employee has no salary (for example, in some religious organisations; and when an employee works on commission only).
  • Approximately 1.0% of employers reported the same base salary and total remuneration amounts for some employees (noting that this situation can be legitimate under certain circumstances – for example, employees who are under 18 and work less than 30 hours a week, or employees that earn less than $450 a month).
  • It is possible that salaries of some part-time or casual employees have not been annualised and/or converted to full-time equivalent amounts, which could lead to more variance in the salary data.
  • Table 5 shows that there is more variance in the salary and remuneration unit level data submitted for Full-time employees compared to Part-time and Casual employees. Median absolute deviation (MAD) is used as a measure of variance as it is robust against outlier records.

Table 5: Median absolute deviation (MAD) of annualised salaries 2019 – 20 unit level dataset

Employment status Annualised salary MAD Annualised remuneration MAD
Full-time $35,240 $44,308
Part-time $14,551 $17,690
Casual $14,558 $15,954

 

WGEA census data - changes over time in reporting organisations

The overall size of the comparison group may have changed from last year. The industries granted the most DNNs (Administrative & support services, Arts & recreation services, and Retail trade) decreased, but the sample sizes for these industries are still within the range comparable with the last seven years.

Table 6: Industry breakdown of reporting organisations in WGEA’s benchmark dataset over time

Division 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Accommodation and food services 248 258 260 233 236 257 259
Administrative and support services 227 239 253 253 254 267 255
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 42 46 47 47 49 52 58
Arts and recreation services 98 98 106 100 102 107 102
Construction 192 203 195 202 202 209 223
Education and training 491 520 526 512 514 534 542
Electricity, gas, water and waste services 51 53 52 47 46 49 47
Financial and insurance services 225 238 232 238 254 254 265
Health care and social assistance 539 613 652 652 648 668 698
Information media and telecommunications 119 125 134 132 136 150 145
Manufacturing 633 663 636 613 583 598 615
Mining 162 169 154 135 140 150 145
Other services 130 149 142 142 140 145 149
Professional, scientific and technical services 433 472 488 513 514 550 576
Public administration and safety 19 19 22 17 21 30 29
Rental, hiring and real estate services 63 72 80 76 82 83 83
Retail trade 293 315 303 294 305 296 296
Transport, postal and warehousing 181 196 190 186 187 192 196
Wholesale trade 208 222 225 229 231 250 206
Total 4,354 4,670 4,697 4,621 4,644 4,841 4,943

 

Organisations may have changed size due to restructure or downsizing (Table 7).

  • Organisations may have modified their ownership structure.
  • Organisations may have chosen to report in a different way this year (e.g. as a collective last year and as separate subsidiaries this year).

Table 7: Organisation size breakdown of reporting organisations in WGEA’s benchmark dataset over time

Organisation size category (number of employees) 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
0-249 1,962 2,181 2,163 2,096 2,045 2,137 2,217
250-499 1,032 1,091 1,125 1,125 1,129 1,158 1,163
500-999 644 656 648 648 655 713 735
1000-4999 716 742 632 615 688 692 684
5000+ 131 127 129 129 127 141 144
Total 4,354 4,670 4,697 4,621 4,644 4,841 4,943

 

WGEA census – changes over time in employee numbers

  • Table 8 shows that while the number of employees for industries granted the most DNNs (Administrative & support services, Arts & recreation services, and Retail trade) decreased, the employee level for these industries are still within a range comparable to the last seven years.

 

Table 8: Industry breakdown of employee records in WGEA’s benchmark dataset over time

Division 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Accommodation and food services 173,653 177,140 190,167 202,871 203,434 226,641 225,540
Administrative and support services 196,917 211,735 237,001 276,728 305,937 309,210 289,255
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 22,379 25,082 27,480 27,716 21,424 23,599 24,719
Arts and recreation services 95,105 93,460 95,579 87,645 89,102 91,770 87,666
Construction 143,259 132,805 117,004 121,141 124,862 129,979 143,495
Education and training 381,484 396,159 413,532 408,027 420,626 441,565 436,930
Electricity, gas, water and waste services 45,454 47,646 44,226 42,387 43,279 50,321 49,625
Financial and insurance services 267,363 275,319 273,307 272,757 273,038 274,570 282,296
Health care and social assistance 515,176 559,088 593,819 627,746 655,949 682,519 729,489
Information media and telecommunications 131,697 131,798 131,647 128,702 120,508 122,453 117,344
Manufacturing 371,937 366,111 345,539 338,569 344,270 352,754 356,564
Mining 190,171 177,639 148,724 136,545 142,411 161,870 166,623
Other services 50,627 59,080 55,940 62,048 53,079 58,865 53,111
Professional, scientific and technical services 288,272 291,561 289,332 276,852 283,413 301,848 318,942
Public administration and safety 27,405 25,247 29,569 22,721 34,475 37,115 37,311
Rental, hiring and real estate services 34,337 36,450 40,934 41,775 43,844 47,165 44,932
Retail trade 648,558 653,173 681,384 666,328 682,834 694,211 684,723
Transport, postal and warehousing 207,845 208,998 199,019 195,557 192,749 201,892 214,331
Wholesale trade 100,261 106,331 111,101 115,990 121,106 132,948 130,760
Total 3,891,900 3,974,822 4,025,304 4,052,105 4,156,340 4,341,295 4,393,656

 

Table 9: Organisation size breakdown of employee records in WGEA’s benchmark dataset over time

Organisation size category (number of employees) 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
0-249 299,257 328,561 330,555 323,755 312,720 327,714 339,007
250-499 360,654 380,351 394,934 387,497 393,243 405,576 403,487
500-999 450,894 455,943 448,712 452,048 457,310 500,763 513,512
1000-4999 1,223,448 1,242,618 1,264,610 1,311,176 1,430,303 1,428,474 1,440,389
5000+ 1,557,647 1,567,349 1,586,493 1,577,629 1,562,764 1,678,768 1,697,261
Total 3,891,900 3,974,822 4,025,304 4,052,105 4,156,340 4,341,295 4,393,656

 

 

Appendix I - 2020 Data Quality Checks

Data quality check Explanation of data quality anomaly provided to reporting organisations Example of a legitimate reason for an anomaly
Total remuneration is lower than expected given the base salary entered and superannuation requirements

The data entered into the 'Total remuneration' column of your aggregate workplace profile is lower than expected when taking into account the base salary entered and superannuation requirements. You may have calculated additional payments (beyond base salary) incorrectly.

If an employee earns less than $450 per month, superannuation is not legally required to be paid. In this case, base salary and total remuneration may be the same.

There may be other circumstances where superannuation is not legally required.
Base salary The data entered into the 'Base salary' column in your aggregate workplace profile suggests that those salaries may not have been converted to annualised and full-time equivalent amounts. This has been flagged as a possible error because base salaries cannot fall below $35,000, the minimum adult full-time equivalent base salary, or $13,000, the minimum non-adult full-time equivalent base wage. There are trainees or apprentices, employees on a disability scheme and/or employees under 21 years of age in this occupation.
Total remuneration is high The data entered into the 'Total remuneration' column of your aggregate workplace profile is considerably higher than other employees' remuneration in this occupational category. You may have calculated additional payments incorrectly, or provided the TOTAL remuneration of all employees in a category instead of the AVERAGE remuneration paid to employees in that category. Employees in this occupation are paid above market rates and/or receive large bonuses or other discretionary payments.
Part-time base salary remuneration is less than full-time remuneration The data entered into the 'Base salary' column for part-time employees in the aggregate workplace profile suggests that those salaries have not been converted to annualised and full-time equivalent amounts, as they are considerably less than the average full-time base salary for that occupation. Part-time employees are trainees or apprentices, on a disability scheme and/or under 21 years of age.
Part-time total remuneration is less than full-time remuneration The data entered into the 'Total remuneration' column for part-time employees in the aggregate workplace profile suggests that those salaries have not been converted to annualised and full-time equivalent amounts. The current figures are considerably less than the average full-time remuneration for that occupation.
 
Part-time employees are trainees or apprentices, on a disability scheme and/or under 21 years of age.
Casual base salary remuneration is less than full-time remuneration The data entered into the 'Base salary' column for casual employees in the aggregate workplace profile suggests that those salaries have not been converted to annualised and full-time equivalent amounts, as they are considerably less than the average full-time base salary for that occupation. Casual employees are trainees or apprentices, on a disability scheme and/or under 21 years of age.
Casual total remuneration is less than full-time remuneration The data entered into the 'Total remuneration' column for casual employees in the aggregate workplace profile suggests that those salaries have not been converted to annualised and full-time equivalent amounts. The current figures are considerably less than the average full-time remuneration for that occupation. Casual employees are trainees or apprentices, on a disability scheme and/or under 21 years of age.
Reporting levels from CEO are not consecutive

Your workplace profile contains gaps in the number of reporting levels to the CEO. The reporting levels should be consecutive, e.g. -1,-2,-3, NOT e.g. -1,-3,-4 where -2 is missing. Please see page 25 of the Reference Guide for more detail.

Equity partners usually occupy an entire reporting level. For example, they represent the entire '-1' level as they report directly to the CEO/head of business.
All manager categories report to someone higher that CEO All of your managers have been allocated a reporting level to the CEO of “+1”. This reporting level is only to be used for those individuals who are based overseas and who are more senior than the CEO.  This usually applies to only a few individuals in global organisations.

It is a multi-national organisation which employs managers in Australia who: are more senior in the hierarchy than the Australian CEO/head of business, and report to someone overseas.

Multiple CEOs Your workplace profile has multiple CEOs.  This may be because other categories of managers have been incorrectly classified as CEOs. Managers need to be grouped into the five standardised management categories according to definitions provided in the Reference Guide. Please see page 21 of the Reference Guide for more detail. The report covers multiple organisations with registered ABNs, and/or the CEO/head of business role is shared.
100 percent of workforce is one gender Your workplace profile shows that 100 percent of your workforce is one gender. Only females/males were employed at the time of reporting.
One or more CEO and no other managers

Your workplace profile contains no data for manager categories other than CEO.  This means your company has one or more CEOs but no managers. If this is an error remember managers need to be grouped into the five standardised management categories according to the definitions provided in the Reference Guide, then their reporting level to the CEO indicated.

The organisation only has a CEO/head of business and no other managers.
More than 20 percent of non-managers are classified in the ‘other’ occupational category 20% or more non-managers have been categorised as being employed in the occupational category of "Other". This appears to be an error as it means a significant portion of your employees do not fit into the standard occupation categories for non-managers. Employee works in a highly specialised or unique role that genuinely cannot be categorised in any other non-manager category.
More than 20% of non-managers are classified as graduates You have categorised 20 percent or more non-managers as being employed as 'graduates'. This appears to be an error as it means at least one in five non-manager employees are on a formal graduate program. There was a high intake of employees in the formal graduate program and/or the graduate program spans multiple years.
Workforce does not contain any managers Your workplace profile contains no managers. Managers need to be grouped into the five standardised management categories according to definitions provided in the Reference Guide, then the reporting level to the CEO indicated. It is a global organisation and does not have any managers employed in Australia.
Organisation does not have a CEO/Head of Business Your workplace profile does not include a CEO. You do not need to include salary data, however you must include the gender and employment status of your CEO. The organisation has been placed into administration and there is no CEO/head of business.
No directors on the governing body/board Your response to Q2.1 of the reporting questionnaire shows that you have no board chairs or members for at least one of your governing bodies. There are multiple owners and they are all recorded as chairs

Too many board members for orgs

Your response to Q2.1 of the questionnaire shows the number of board members is more than 20 for one or more of your governing bodies. The organisation is a union, religious or other organisation with a high number of boards.
Too many chairs for orgs Your response to Q2.1 of the questionnaire shows that at least one of your governing bodies has more than two chairs. The organisation is a union, religious or other organisation with a high number of boards.
The target set for the governing body is less than or equal to the representation of women on the board. The target has already been reached Your response to Q2.1 in the reporting questionnaire shows that the target set for one or more of your governing bodies is less than or equal to the representation of women on your board. The target date falls in the reporting period or later.
Primary Carers Leave - high number of weeks Your response to Q5.1 of the questionnaire shows the number of weeks offered for primary carer's leave is more than one year (52 weeks). That may be an error as it is an unusually large amount of leave. Industry standard
Secondary Carers Leave - high number of days Your response to Q6.1 of the questionnaire shows the number of days offered for secondary carer’s leave is more than six months (approximately 180 days). That may be an error as it is an unusually large amount of leave. Industry standard
0 weeks of paid primary carer's leave has been entered, despite the organisation indicating that it does offer primary carer's leave. Your response to Q5.1 of the reporting questionnaire shows that you offer 0 weeks of primary carer's leave, despite your organisation indicating it does offer paid primary carer's leave. None
0 days of paid secondary carer's leave has been entered, despite the organisation indicating that it does offer secondary carer's leave. Your response to Q6.1 of the reporting questionnaire shows that you offer 0 days of secondary carer's leave, despite your organisation indicating it does offer paid secondary carer's leave. None
Number of resignations while on parental leave is greater than the number of employees on parental leave Your responses to Q7 and Q8 of the reporting questionnaire show the number of female manager resignations while on parental leave is considerably larger than the total number of female managers who utilised parental leave. None
Number of promotions is greater than the number of appointments Your response to Q1.11 in the reporting questionnaire shows the number of promotions is larger than the total number of appointed, however the number of appointments should also include the number of promotions. None